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Here we go again! Dealing once more with the ups and downs - and uncertainty - of another COVID-19 community outbreak. We all manage difficult situations differently. Lets look at some proven practical strategies we can deploy to help us get through at this challenging time.
Dr Lucy Hone and Dr Denise Quinlan are the Directors of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing and Resilience.
They have put together 12 strategies based on the best science and their own experiences. Here are the first three:
- Choose where you focus your attention - tune into what's still good in the world! Think about and share good stuff!
- Deliberately seek out the people (and do the stuff) that make you happy - positive emotions are vital for building resilience.
- Maintain strong and supportive relationships - quality connections are the number one predictor of wellbeing.
You might also like to watch Dr Lucy Hone'sTED Talk on the Three Secrets of Resilient People.
New research from McMaster University suggests the pandemic has created a paradox where mental health has become both a motivator for and a barrier to physical activity. People want to be active to improve their mental health but find it difficult to exercise due to stress and anxiety, say the researchers who surveyed more than 1,600 subjects.
"Maintaining a regular exercise programme is difficult at the best of times and the conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic may be making it even more difficult," says Jennifer Heisz - lead author of the study and an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster.
"Even though exercise comes with the promise of reducing anxiety, many respondents felt too anxious to exercise. Likewise, although exercise reduces depression, respondents who were more depressed were less motivated to get active, and lack of motivation is a symptom of depression," she says.
With so many fantastic education and training opportunities coming up over the next few months, the focus of this E-News is on learning and development - and practical ways activity providers can grow their knowledge and skills. Find out about why regular professional development is a great investment.
Research from Sport New Zealand shows that physically active Kiwis are more likely to have good mental health. A review of international literature submitted to the New Zealand Government Inquiry into Mental Health in 2018 showed that physical activity reduces the chance of experiencing depression by 10 percent in children (5-18 years), 22 percent in adults (18-64 years) and 21 percent in older adults (65+ years).
The WHO recently launched new Guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. The Guidelines provide evidence-based public health recommendations for children, adolescents, adults and older adults on the amount of physical activity (frequency, intensity and duration) required to offer significant health benefits and mitigate health risks.
Recommendations are provided for the first time on the associations between sedentary behaviour and health outcomes, as well as for subpopulations, such as pregnant and postpartum women, and people living with chronic conditions or disability.
A recently published article highlighted a number of interesting points in regards to muscle-strengthening exercise. The researchers found that whilst clinical and epidemiological evidence links muscle-strengthening exercise to optimal health and well-being, over 80 percent of adults do not report meeting the muscle-strengthening exercise guidelines (≥ 2 times per week). They also found, that compared to aerobic physical activity/exercise, muscle-strengthening exercise has been generally overlooked in public health approaches for chronic disease prevention.